Junior Cole Miller, a former Northwestern Lehigh standout, fired a 2-under-par 69 at the Aldarra Golf Club in Sammamish, Wash. to help Penn State get off to a decent start Monday, Day 1 of the Washington Regional and five other NCAA regionals around the country.
Miller’s effort helped the Nittany Lions, No. 49 in the latest Golfstat rankings and seeded ninth in the regional, to a share of sixth place with No. 37 San Diego State at 6-over 290 over the 6,885-yard, par-71 Aldarra layout.
The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
No. 24 Florida State grabbed the lead at the end of the first round with a 6-under 278. The Seminoles are two shots ahead of the No. 1 team in the country, Southern California, which posted a 4-under 280 behind a brilliant 7-under 64 from Sean Crocker, a junior from Westlake Village, Calif., that gave him a three-shot lead in the individual standings.
No. 36 Alabama is third at 1-under 283 and No. 12 Kent State and No. 43 Texas A&M are tied for fourth at 3-over 287. Penn State and San Diego State are another three shots back in the tie for sixth.
Backing up Miller, the reigning Pennsylvania Amateur champion, was Charles Huntzinger, a sophomore from Duluth, Ga. who carded a 1-over 72. Alec Bard, a freshman from New Hartford, N.Y., replaced senior Christian Elliott in the lineup and carded a solid 3-over 74.
Ryan Davis, a freshman from Berkeley Heights, N.J., posted a 4-over 75 and sophomore JD Hughes, a Carlisle product, had a 79 as Greg Nye sent out a starting lineup of all underclassmen.
Florida State was led by Josh Lee, who was alone in second place, three shots behind Crocker, at 4-under 67. Cristobal Del Solar, a redshirt senior from Chile, also bettered par for the Seminoles with a 2-under 69 that left him in the group tied for sixth.
Also for Florida State, Corey Carlson, a sophomore from Green Cove Springs, Fla., is tied for 10th with a 1-under 70, Bennett Baker, a sophomore from Tallahassee, Fla., is tied for 21st with a 1-over 72 and Henry Ellis, a redshirt junior from England, is tied for 27th with a 2-over 73.
Crocker’s teammate, Justin Suh, a sophomore from San Jose, Calif., is tied for third in the individual chase with a 3-under 68.
He is joined at that figure by Michigan’s Nick Carlson, a sophomore from Hamilton, Mich. who made a spectacular run to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club last summer, and Alabama’s Steven Setterstrom, a senior from Mobile, Ala.
In the Stanford Regional at the Stanford Golf Course, Maverick McNealy, a senior from Portola Valley, Calif. and the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, fired a 5-under 65 on his home course to help the No. 4 Cardinal grab the lead in the team chase.
Stanford posted a 9-under 271 on the 6,727-yard, par-70 Stanford Golf Course layout to grab a six-shot lead over No. 9 Baylor, which is at 3-under 277. No. 45 Brigham Young is another shot back in third at 2-under 278, No. 41 North Florida is fourth at 1-under 279, and No. 15 Oklahoma is fifth at even-par 280.
McNealy shares the individual lead with Oklahoma’s Brad Dalke, a sophomore from Norman, Okla. McNealy’s teammate, Franklin Huang, a junior from Poway, Calif., is one of four players tied for third at 3-under 67.
The Cardinal starting five were all at par or better as Isaiah Salinda, a sophomore from South San Francisco, Calif., is tied for 10th with a 1-under 69 and Brandon Wu, a sophomore from Danville, Calif., and Vincent Badhwar, a senior from Australia, are among the group tied for 17th at even-par 70.
Joining Huang in the tie for third at 3-under 67 were a pair of BYU players, Patrick Fishburn, a sophomore from Ogden, Utah, and C.J. Lee, a junior from Provo, Utah, and UC Irvine junior David Kim, who is competing as an individual.
At the Austin Regional, another host team benefited from playing on its home course as Big 12 champion Texas, ranked 16th, jumped out to a five-shot lead behind one of its stars, Scottie Scheffler, a junior from Dallas who fired a 5-under 65 to grab the individual lead.
Scheffler helped the Longhorns, which lost in the NCAA final to Oregon last spring, to a 7-under 277 on their home track, the 7,355-yard, par-71 University of Texas Golf Club layout. No. 22 Mississippi is in second place at 2-under 282.
No. 3 Oklahoma State, the region’s top seed, is in third at 3-over 287 and three teams, No. 50 Iowa State, No. 26 Arizona State and No. 34 North Carolina State, are tied for fourth at 6-over 290. Think the Wolfpack would like to send their coach, Richard Sykes, who is stepping down after 46 years running then program, out with a trip to the NCAA Championship? Me too.
Scheffler’s teammate Doug Ghim, a junior from Arlington Heights, Ill. is one of four players tied for second, two shots behind Scheffler at 3-under 68.
Also for the Longhorns, Gavin Hall, a senior from Pittsford, N.Y., is tied for sixth with a 2-under 69 and Steven Chervony, a sophomore from Boca Raton, Fla., and Spencer Soosman, a freshman from Westlake Village, Calif., are in a group tie for 33rd at 2-over 74.
Joining Ghim in the foursome tied for second at 3-under 68 are a pair of Ole Miss players, Braden Thornberry, a sophomore from Olive Branch, Miss., and Ben Wolcott, a senior from Dickson, Tenn., and N.C. State’s Jacob McBride, a senior from Hartville, Ohio.
Another host thriving on its home course is No. 6 LSU, the top seed in the Baton Rouge Regional at the University Club. The Tigers, behind Sam Burns, a sophomore from Shreveport, La. who grabbed the individual lead with a 7-under 65 over the 7,324-yard, par-72 University Club layout, carded a 12-under 276 to take a six-shot lead over No. 18 Virginia.
The Cavaliers posted a solid 6-under 282. No. 7 Oregon, the Pac-12 champion and the defending national champion, is third at 1-under 287, ACC champion Duke, ranked 19th, is fourth at 3-over 291 and No. 43 Kentucky is fifth at 4-over 292.
LSU also got a 4-under 68 from Eric Ricard, a senior, also from Shreveport, who is in a trio of players tied for third. Brandon Pierce, a senior from Covington, La., also bettered par for the Tigers, his 1-under 71 leaving him tied for eighth. Luis Gagne, a sophomore from Orlando, Fla., matched par with a 72 and is tied for 11th and freshman Philip Barbaree, he’s from Shreveport, too, is tied for 32nd with a 3-over 75.
Virginia’s Danny Walker, a junior from Bradenton, Fla., is alone in second place, two shots behind Burns with a 5-under 67.
Joining LSU’s Ricard in the group tied for third at 4-under 68 are Kentucky’s Cooper Musselman, a junior from Louisville, Ky., and Oregon’s Edward Yi, a sophomore from Beaumont, Calif.
In the West Lafayette Regional, Mountain West champion UNLV, ranked 17th, grabbed a one-shot lead in the team chase behind individual leader John Oda, a junior from Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Rebels carded a 1-under 287 over the 7,411-yard, par-72 Kampen Course layout at the Brick Boilermaker Golf Complex. Big Ten champion Illinois, ranked eighth, and No. 44 New Mexico are a shot back in a tie for second at even-par 288.
No. 28 South Carolina is alone in fourth at 3-over 291. Three teams, No. 5 Florida, the top seed in the regional, No. 36 Alabama, and host Purdue, ranked 38th, are tied for fifth at 4-over 292.
Oda fired a 5-under 67 to take a one-shot lead in the individual chase over Illinois’ Edoardo Lipparelli, a sophomore from Italy, and Illinois State’s Trent Wallace, a sophomore from Joliet, Ill. who is competing as an individual.
UNLV also got a solid showing from Shintaro Ben, a junior from San Jose, Calif. who is alone in sixth after carding a 2-under 70. Also for the Rebels, Harry Hall, a sophomore from England is tied for 24th with a 1-over 73 and Justin Kim, a freshman from Fullerton, Calif., and Taylor Montgomery, a senior from Henderson, Nev., are in the group tied for 53rd at 77.
At the College Grove Regional, No. 2 Vanderbilt, the regional’s top seed, behind individual co-leader Patrick Martin, a sophomore from Birmingham, Ala., grabbed a six-shot lead at The Grove Club.
Martin fired a 6-under 66 over the 7,383, par-72 Grove Club layout to share the individual lead with Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer, a sophomore from Bluffton, S.C.
That helped the Southeastern Conference champion Commodores post a 9-under 279 team total that left them six shots clear of No. 47 UCF, which posted a 3-under 285. No. 63 Troy is third at 2-under 286, No. 39 Kennesaw State is fourth at 1-under 287 and No. 14 Clemson is fifth at even-par 288.
Backing up Martin is Theo Humphrey, a junior from Greenwich, Conn. who is tied for sixth with a 3-under 69. John Augenstein, a freshman from Owensboro, Ky., is tied for 14th with a 1-under 71, Matthias Schwab, a senior from Austria, is tied for 34th at 1-over 73 and Will Gordon, a sophomore form Davidson, N.C., is tied for 43rd at 3-over 75.
Two players are tied for third in the individual chase, just a shot behind Martin and Nimmer at 5-under 67. They are UCF’s Manuel Elvira, a junior from Spain, and Troy’s Cam Norman, a senior form Greenville, Ala.